By Emily Gray
The highly-anticipated Netflix mini-series Inventing Anna is about to land. If you don’t know the story then let us fill you in on this unbelievable (but very real) story of the fake heiress.
Is Inventing Anna a true story?
Inventing Anna, is as the show says, “completely true, except for the parts that are totally made up”.
The 9-part mini series is inspired by the journalist Jessica Pressler’s 2018 article for New York Magazine that told the world about ‘Anna Delvey’, real name Anna Sorokin - afaux socialite who captured the attention of New York.
So what’s Anna Sorokin’s story?
Anna Sorokin was born in Russia but moved to a small working class town in Germany as a teenager in 2007. It wasn’t until 2013 when she interned at Purple magazine in Paris and then later transferring to their NY office that she became Anna Delvey - becoming friends with the magazine’s editor-in-chief Olivier Zahm. This was Anna’s in, to the social scene, she was soon part of the ‘it’ crowd attending all the best parties.
Anna Delvey, unlike Anna Sorokin, was an heiress - her father, as she told people, ran a business producing solar panels - which explains why she had so much money. And Anna Delvey went about duping the who’s who of New York -staying in the most expensive hotels for weeks at a time, tipping $100 to almost everyone, attending sessions with a renowned personal trainer and life coach, throwing lavish parties which she had hired a PR firm to organise and going on extravagant holidays. Her business? She wanted to launch a private arts club known as the Anna Delvey Foundation.
The only problem being of course, she wasn’t an heiress and had no money…
Not only was Anna racking up debts in hotels and on her friend’s cards, but she was submitting documents to the likes of City National Bank stating that she had a net worth of €60 million in the hope that they would lend her $22 million loan and, using forged documents she managed to charter a $35,000 jet to Omaha - the full list of her fraudulent activities is staggering. Anna was first arrested in July 2017 for the debts she owed to the Beekman and W New York hotels, she was then rearrested in October 2017 and was held in Rikers.
In April 2019, Anna Sorokin was found guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny and sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison and was moved to Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
Inventing Anna, is told from the perspective of a fictional journalist, Vivian, who is based on Jessica Pressler. Writing for Manhattan Magazine, Vivian (played by Anna Chlumsky) is looking for the story to save her career and faux socialite- Anna Delvey is the break she’s looking for.
Ok, so who have they chosen to play Anna?
Playing Anna is Julia Garner. If you watch Ozark (which has recently returned for its fourth season) then you’ll recognise her as Ruth Langmore - a role that has seen her win two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She’s also starred in Dirty John and The American.
For the role Julia met Anna who was in Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York at the time, speaking with ET, Julia said;
‘“She [Anna] was like, ‘How are you playing me? What are you doing?’ And I was like, “Uhhh.’ I started freaking out inside,” the actress recalled, feeling super intimidated. “I didn’t want her to get disappointed, because obviously I still care. I’m playing her.”
And who’s made the show?
The show is created and produced by Shonda Rhimes (Bridgerton, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Station 19) alongside executive producer Betsy Beers whilst the Oscar and Emmy winner, David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) is set to be the director and executive producer for two of the episodes.
Have we heard anything from Anna Sorokin?
In interviews with The New York Times, Anna said:
“The thing is, I’m not sorry,” she said on Friday, a day after she was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I went about certain things.”
After being released from Albion Correctional Facility in February 2021, Anna was rearrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) just six weeks later for overstaying her visit. Since then Anna has remained in custody waiting to see if she’ll be deported. On February 3rd, Insider, published an article written by Anna about her time in prison and how it feels to have a show made about her.
“So no - it doesn’t look like I’ll be watching “Inventing Anna” anytime soon. Even if I were to pull some strings and make it happen, nothing about seeing a fictionalized version of myself in this criminal-insane asylum setting sounds appealing to me.”
When can I watch it?
Tomorrow, the mini series lands on Netflix on the 11th February 2022.